There Is Only One Way to Stay Young! Images of Aging.

Many have a dual image of aging that borders on psychosis. In their fantasy image of aging, their bodies and minds stay eternally youthful and supple like that of a young person regardless of passing time. Their reality image of aging scares and distresses many (especially women). In this image, their bodies and minds change with time, i.e., they age. And, these changes are associated with no longer being young. Yet, the only way to stay young is to die young! Not a very appealing option. Otherwise, aging in body and mind are inevitable and unavoidable.

Apparently, maturity in both body and mind once revered is now to be avoided. Or people want both maturity and youthfulness at the same time–an oxymoron? Or maturity in mind and youthfulness in body. I would think nobody would want the angst of being a teenager eternally. Or, the innocence and trauma of being inexperienced. So, the wisdom that usually comes with the experience of aging makes our lives better. Aging is Good. Not aging means one is dead.

So, why the duality of aging images? Why the billions of dollars being spent on cosmetics/plastic surgery, medicines and dietary supplements and exercise facilities and equipment? Basically, it is fear. Fear of no longer being the young person who attracted their significant other. Fear of losing ones significant other to a young you. Fear of no longer turning heads. Fear of gossip about ones aging looks. Fear of not being able to perform. Fear of not recognizing and loving the person one sees in the mirror every morning. Fear of getting old and not having accomplished life’s goals. Fear of approaching ones inevitable death.

Fear is a terrible way to live ones life. Denying the inevitable is unwise and maybe even foolish. This is not to say one should not mitigate the effects of aging. Taking care of oneself to maintain optimal health in body and mind is wise. But denying that aging is occurring is not wise.

We are as young as we feel no matter how old we are in body or mind. So, we should concentrate on feeling young and maintaing optimal health. And otherwise just accept the effects of aging without fear. Then, we will be able to enjoy the longevity rarely experienced by our ancestors.

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